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Video Game: Popful Mail

Popful Mail is a side-scrolling action-adventure game, originally made by Nihon Falcom (developers of the Ys series) for NEC's PC-88 and PC-98 home computers in Japan, and then ported to the PC Engine CD and Sega CD systems. Working Designs worked on the localization for the North American Sega CD version (the one that will be covered in this entry). There's also a little-known Super Famicom version.

It stars a charmingly inept elven bounty hunter named Popful Mail (think Lina Inverse with Pointy Ears), who's spent much of her adventuring life chasing after the notorious criminal Nuts Cracker. She manages to corner him, but is only able to retrieve Nuts' head (as his body runs away from her during their melee), which is practically worthless. Frustrated, she takes her trophy and wanders toward a town, where she learns of an even better bounty - 2,000,000 gold for the capture of an evil old wizard named Muttonhead.

The WD localization of Popful Mail exhibits the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Mail.
  • The Ahnold: Sven.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: At least 50% of the bosses can only be damaged in a certain spot.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Kazyr.
  • Boss Arena Urgency: The Overlord shoots fireballs at the floor, turning them into spikes. Better beat him quickly before you don't have a safe spot to stand...
  • Bounty Hunter: Mail.
  • Breath Weapon: Gaw's fireball and Aura Breath attacks.
  • Camera Screw: The camera is very short sighted.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Popful Mail's outfit. In fact her name is practically a poor translation of the term ("mail" as in a type of armor, and "popful" aptly describes its shape).
  • Dem Bones: Boney Rubbler, as well as the other skeleton enemies.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The Sega CD version was going to be one of Sonic the Hedgehog, replacing the characters with Sonic characters, and featured Sonic's Long Lost Sibling, hence the name, Sister Sonic. However, fans screamed it was ruined before it could get anywhere.
    • To clarify: The screaming wasn't about Sonic being ruined. It was about Popful Mail being ruined.
  • Difficulty By Region: The American Sega CD version is harder. You have no Mercy Invincibility and enemies can take and deal more damage.
  • The Ditz: Glug, the dwarven artisan. Slick has his moments, too.
  • Elves VS Dwarves: Inverted in the case of Slick (elf) and Glug (dwarf), who are best friends.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Chilly, the fourth world, is full of them.
  • Evil Mentor: Muttonhead used to be Tatto's teacher, until he went crazy and became Public Enemy #1.
  • Fake King: Draquin, who posed as the penguin king Lipps so he could reign over the penguins.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Venuncio's Happy Flames of Death.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Clobster, a robot lobster which splits into two large mechanical crabs upon defeat.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Muttonhead and Nuts Cracker.
  • Golem: Three of 'em, and you have to fight them all: Muttonhead's Wood Golem, Venuncio's Mythril Golem, and Sven's Fire Golem transformation.
  • The Goomba: The Badger Bandits.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Clear the game quickly and you'll get to hear voice acting bloopers after the credits are finished rolling.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The English version uses a program that attempts to replicate natural lip movements during voiced cutscenes. Even by the admission of the localization team, there are times when the lip-synching can be...hilariously off.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Sven T. Uncommon's introduction, written as puns on titles of popular Arnold Schwarzenegger movies at the time of the game's release.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Zoth Shrine and Fort Fryght.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Your party is separated for the final three battles, with each one fighting the Overlord and his two most powerful henchmen.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: A sidequest involving a woman in Treesun who had her ring stolen by the leader of the Badger Bandits.
  • MacGyvering: Slick makes his own bombs from homemade products.
  • Mad Bomber: The first boss. Nuts Cracker is also fond of using his (many) head(s) as an explosive device ("BOOMBA!")
  • Mercy Invincibility: For both you and your enemies. Yours is insignificant, but thankfully you can pass through enemies without harm when they have it on.
  • Mighty Glacier: Gaw can be considered this - he does the most amount of damage out of the three characters, but his movement speed is the slowest due to his stubby legs.
  • Mithril: Used for one of Venuncio's golems, and also as a host body for the Overlord.
  • Miser Advisor: Mail. She really needs the money, as she hasn't been able to land a single bounty.
  • Money Spider: Every normal enemy coughs up either gold or a healing item.
    • The best one would have to be 2 specific mummies in the Mine, they drop Gold Bullions that sell for 500 gold each! They're there because you will need 4 Gold Bullions to complete a required quest.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Mail introduces herself this way to almost every friendly NPC she meets.
  • One-Winged Angel: Sven does this twice. Also, Draquin, the evil penguin boss of the fourth stage.
  • Only in It for the Money: Mail's main motivation for doing pretty much anything.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: the Gaw race.
  • Overly Long Name: Venuncio, who introduces himself as "Klabberdeen Klotchsniffer Leetzlewiffle Poopiewouffen von Venuncio Krakenlichter Ratchetface XIV".
  • Planet of Steves: The Gaws, a species of baby dragons, do not have personal names.
  • Pointy Ears: All of the elves, including Mail, Slick, and several other characters.
  • Recurring Boss: Sven and Nuts Cracker. Lampshaded after you fight Nuts the second time, where the accompanying victory text box says "(Player) defeated Nuts Cracker! (for real this time)".
  • Red-Headed Hero: Mail.
  • RPG Elements: Mainly in the form of weapon upgrades and gold.
  • She's Got Legs: Mail. Boy howdy, does she ever.
  • Shockwave Stomp / Ground Pound: Thrashmaster+ uses this one on you.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty. With this being a Working Designs adaptation, it's to be expected.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Chilly.
  • Spikes of Doom: Thankfully, they cannot kill you in one hit, and there is an item which allows you to step on them.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Mail and her friends can stay underwater as long as they like.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Wriph and Wraph.
  • Third-Person Person: Gaw.
  • Verbal Tic: "Gaw!"
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Wood Golem. It does a lot of damage per hit, has an annoying to avoid bum rush, and when you defeat its body, you have to keep hitting its head or else it will respawn its body forcing you to repeat the whole process.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Mad Bomber, whose attacks are easy to take cover from and it dies in 10 hits.
  • White Magician Boy: Tatto has the character design, staff, and personality of a White Magician Girl.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: When Mail tells Slick that she's out to find magical orbs to help prevent the Overlord from rising again, Slick dismisses them as junk.

VayCreator/Working DesignsLunar: Eternal Blue
Penn and Teller's Smoke and MirrorsSega GenesisRadical Rex
PhoenotopiaAction AdventurePrimal

alternative title(s): Popful Mail
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